Wild Rice Concerns on Pigeon Lake

For the latest news and events, please click here

As we are all aware, the Rice in Pigeon Lake has spread substantially over the past few years making the waterway almost impossible to navigate from Grenadier Island to Omemee, ON. The increase in rice has raised concerns with many residents on Pigeon Lake, some of which are stated below.

We urge our followers to watch the CBC Gem Documentary – Cottagers & Indians

Click the link below:



  1. Navigation of the water has been drastically restricted.
  2. Waterfront access and beaches are being restricted.
  3. Cutting of the Rice to gain waterfront access to our property is causing huge clumps of Rice to gather on the shoreline, which necessitates removal by residents.
  4. Lakefront properties values are being affected.
  5. Mechanical Harvesting:  This has created other concerns which have far reaching ramifications.   An individual is using an airboat with a scoop on the front of the boat to harvest Rice rather than the traditional canoe and paddle method.  This method of harvesting is NOT environmentally friendly as;
    1. The boat is powered by an engine and an aeroplane propeller.  The noise level sounds similar to a seaplane taking off but never does.  This noise is constant and lasts for hours and happens for the entire harvest.
    2. Original Rice beds are being damaged as this method of harvesting is breaking down the plants.
    3. The individual who is harvesting with the airboat launches the boat at the end of Kerry Line Rd and travels approximately 1 1/2 miles north towards Bobcaygeon and south towards Omemee.  During his travels he is spreading the seeds collected and seeding parts of the lake which have always been clear of Rice fields.  Furthermore,  I was recently advised that area lakes have been and are being seeded with thousands of pounds of rice seed.  This has resulted in more and more Rice fields developing.  The results are obvious and unfortunately, if this type of seeding and havesting continues the lakes we once enjoyed will be non-existent.

Show your support to STOP Mechanical Wild Rice Harvesting: Send an email to savepigeonlake@gmail.com

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

4 thoughts on “Wild Rice Concerns on Pigeon Lake”

  1. The aboriginals have the right by treaty to harvest the rice with a canoe and paddle. The treaty does not give them the right to seed. Natural progressing of the rice is accepted. Our tax dollars support the aboriginals around Ontario for housing and food etc. One also should remember the aboriginals do not pay tax.
    There is enough opposition to this practice that I would suggest the people living on the lake band together and start the battle by taking over the local Mayor and council positions. There are enough individuals involved to actually do this. Once in control bylaws can be passed to control the situation. This is one way to start and it will get the attention of the Media and also the other Governments.

  2. I would like to clarify my statement referring to the interpretation of the WILLIAMS TREATY. It should have read “… as interpreted by him and SOME First Nations Members that have voiced similar opinions in his support.”

  3. I am very puzzled as to why some people are supporting the actions of this rogue individual. His claim that his goal in seeding the lakes ( and this is definitely not limited to Pigeon Lake only) is to improve First Nation people’s health and to teach them traditional ways of sustenance is pure malarkey!!
    Of the thousands of pounds that he has planted and subsequently harvested in non traditional ways, how much has he given to “his people” and how much has he sold for profit to local and farther afield businesses? Is he ready to divulge this information to support his altruistic claims? His declaration of having finally reached “the poverty line” last year was laughable. Surely anyone that knows him or has seen him drive about would be questioning his integrity on this comment alone!!!
    I believe his selfish actions are undermining and damaging current efforts being made to try to repair and atone for the many wrongs inflicted on First Nation people in the past. Many of us involved in this dispute over the creation of wild rice fields, support and encourage the reparation and atonement efforts currently being moved forward by all levels of government. RESPECT and communication with open and fair minds are key.
    If we truly want to be governed by integrity and morality, we cannot as a society live by the “AN EYE FOR AN EYE” rule. Cooperation and logic must be shown by all parties. RESPECT FOR THE NOW AS WELL AS FOR THE PAST.
    James Whetung takes every opportunity to state/threaten that he will ” take back” all of the Kawartha lakes by seeding them. He also blatantly rejects non-native government authority over his seeding and harvesting activity. THE WILLIAMS TREATY, as interpreted by him and First Nation members, gives ultimate freedom to proceed with the drastic changes to this part of our province. Let us hope that the spirit of cooperation and mutual respect prevailes as we move forward with this challenging situation.

  4. Pigeon lake is a public lake like any land or parks that belong to the public. Individuals should not use it for personal business like planting wild rice etc..
    Are individuals allowed to plant rice in a public park? NO. This is the same for a public lake like pigeon lake.
    Please let people enjoy and use this beautiful lake in the proper way.

Comments are closed.